It's the first day of December and you can't avoid it now: time to get into giving mode for the upcoming holidays. There's always that one person on your holiday gift list that is impossible to buy for. It’s usually a spouse or partner. If that person is also a triathlete, you may find yourself thinking that Santa was smart in giving out coal. Don’t fret, I have complied a list of ideas from stocking stuffers to the ultimate dream gift. All will earn you some serious brownie points.
 

Stocking Stuffers

Let’s stay away from the gift card. Nothing says I don’t have a clue more than a random gift card. 
 
  • Gels/Chews/Drinks – These are all forms of replacing carbs during training and racing. It's easy enough to find out what kind to buy, when you see the wrappers all over or extras stashed in the cupboards and gym bags.  
  • Socks/undies - You see them everywhere. The “special” socks. They may be long, no show, have compression, or without. This can be a minefield for shopping, and bring on stress about getting it wrong. So steal one that they already use, and take it to the local running store and ask them to match it for you. Same goes for the underwear. Trust me, they have seen it all.
  • Water Bottles- We can never own enough of them. Enough said.
  • Protective Gear- Countless hours are spent outside training and we need protection from all the elements. Think warm gloves and hats, new swim googles, sweat proof sunscreen, and even a reflective safety vest or hat.
 

For Under the Tree

This list can be exhaustive and very expensive depending on your budget (and how good they have been this year). I have shortened it to the most popular choices.
 
  • Clothing - Who doesn’t love new technical clothes? A running jacket, new running tights or maybe some biking booties will be great. I will guarantee you have heard numerous times about a new piece they want to add to the collection.
  • Bike Parts - A new toy brings out the kid in everyone. Maybe a new bike computer, some beautiful carbon race wheels, or an indoor trainer. If the budget can swing it, then a new bike is what I would want. That of course requires a cute handmade gift certificate to take them to the bike store to pick out their new steed.
  • Technology - We are obsessed with speed. We need to analyze and compare everything we do. A running watch with GPS is perfect. I have always been a fan of Garmin, but there are a few options to choose from. A big budget item is a CompuTrainer or similar program for indoor riding and testing. 
  • Race Entry - There isn’t a triathlete in the world that wouldn’t love a green light to race and have their entry paid for. Prices can range quite a bit from a small local race to a branded race like Ironman. If money is no object (and assuming they can qualify), then get them the ultimate in race entry: the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. That would solidify you as the greatest of all time. You may not even need to buy them a birthday present after that.
 
 
Whenever you head out to buy your favourite triathlete something special, remember not to stress about getting the right colour or perfect model; this is truly one of those times where it is the thought that counts. They will love whatever you decide. 
 
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